In Magic's own opinion, there's one player, in particular, during this postseason that sparks internal memories of greatness. Here's a hint: He's a fellow Spartan-turned-West coast baller.
Magic's new Magic is none other than Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, of course.
According to Hugh Bernreuter of MLive.com:
'He's almost like a mini-Magic,' Johnson said. 'You can't judge Draymond by how many points he scores.'
Johnson called Green the best defender, second-best passer, the second or third-best ballhandler and the second-best rebounder on the Golden State team.
Green, a 6-foot-7 forward out of Michigan State, led the Warriors with 11 rebounds, including five offensive rebounds, in Tuesday's loss.
'This dude, man, he's representing himself, Saginaw, Michigan State so well,' Johnson said. 'I think in another year, he's going to win Sixth Man of the Year.
'What separates Draymond is that he's one of the smartest players right now in the NBA. Even though he's a sixth man, he might be one of the top 15, 20 smartest players in this basketball league.'
In his second year out of Michigan State, the 24-year-old increased his minutes total by more than 700, and averaged six points, five rebounds and two assists as a role player for Mark Jackson. Not exactly an Earvin Johnson line, but Green is very valuable to the Dubs.
The 35th-overall pick in the 2012 draft played four years at his hometown Michigan State after graduating from Saginaw High School in Michigan, which is just an hour north of Magic's hometown Lansing.
He was inserted into Jackson's starting lineup after the team went small to better match up with the Los Angeles Clippers. As a starter, he's posted nine points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block per night.
According to Basketball-Reference, the Clips have scored 16 fewer points per 100 possessions with Green on the floor this postseason. Additionally, the Warriors' offense has posted nearly 17 more points per 100 possessions with him on the court equating to a tremendous plus-32.7 net-rating.
Don't call him Magic, but Green certainly does wonders for the Warriors, especially with Andrew Bogut sidelined through the postseason.
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